Pugs at Work: Bodily Capital and Bodily Labour among Professional Boxers by Wacquant – Article Example

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The paper "Pugs at Work: Bodily Capital and Bodily Labour among Professional Boxers by Wacquant" is a delightful example of an article on sports and recreation. There is always much work on the sociology of the body and less of it is dedicated to real practices where the structures of social life are embodied. This article concerns an analysis of America’ s professional boxers especially how they are involved in using themselves as a source of capital. This article entails interviews with boxers together with their managers. It also analyses the boxing publications available.

Wacquant is stated as a previous apprentice boxer. Wacquant defines boxing as ‘ body center universe’ . The body of the boxer is his work project, instrument, and his asset. Accumulated labor is regarded as capital and therefore the boxers possess themselves and are entrepreneurs when it comes to gaining capital from the use of their bodies. The gym is seen as a machine used by the boxers to convert their bodily capital into more valuable capital which later gets to be recognized, gets titles, and more. The body of the boxer is built from bodily labor together with management (Boddy 2008).

The boxers need to understand their bodies to well build them. Inborn limitations exist plus a fixed life expectancy, fighters need to be careful when they decide to invest in their bodies. They need to manage their career well enough, manage investments from boxing, stay shape-full, and avoid burn out or injury. The body needs regular attention from its use (Monaghan 2001). Rating and classic measurements can be broken. This kind of inheritance must be considered when developing a strategy and style to denote the difference between boxers and fighters.

The body structure is not destiny; its physiological process can be developed and built through sufficient training program in the gym (Sugden 1996). The shape and volume of the body can be changed following particular exercise regimes and diet (Beattie 1996). Boxers can build their muscles using exercises, drills, and defined regimes of skipping ropes, calisthenics sparring, shadow boxing, running, and punching assortment of bags. Weightlifting is not that necessary in a boxer's life because it impedes agility and resilience. The question is why these lift weightlifting machines are found in gyms if they do not help their users.

Do some boxers do weightlifting? How has it affected their body or weight limits? Fighting is always the best training a fighter can get. It helps the body learn how to recover from hits. Wacquant says that body working for most fighters is a pleasure. He has failed to identify those fighters who do not find pleasure in what they do. Acquiring necessary bodily characteristics for fighters is an unnoticeable mental uplift.

This is because the fighter has to undergo a long constant and prolonged development. Cognitive and emotional state is developed during the ongoing practical labor, an exercise intelligence from communication with the actual and concrete realities (Monaghan 2001). The opponent’ s body can read since the boxers can bear visible traces of their career, and also musculature provides the opponent with clues towards the boxer’ s weakness also his unhealed cuts. Boxers are taught of pressure point, this is where maximum damages are being placed in the opponent’ s body (Myler 2005).

Boxers can do impression management by using their bodies to capture the media and public attention. They could either, pad robes to look big or adopt stage costumes or shave their heads, just to get recognized. Does this impression management help, does the audience react differently or cheer more? This has not been fully portrayed in this article because boxers just do not do anything freely they are investing in using their body. They could be doing that to show how much they worth compared to their opponents or to give a certain picture of what to expect.


Beattie, G 1996, On the rope: Boxing as a way of life, Indigo publication, London.

Boddy, K 2008, Boxing: A cultural history, Routledge: London

John, Sugden, P 1996, Boxing & Society: An international analysis, Manchester university press, Manchester.

Monaghan, F 2001, Body building, drugs and risks, Routledge, London.

Patrick, Myler, 2005, Ring of hate, Mainstream Publishers, United Kingdom

Young, K McTeer W & White, P 1994, Male athletes on sport, injury and pain: A journal of sociology of sport, Vol 11, pp 175-194.

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